Championship Favorites Start Run To Finals: Bucks vs. Heat Game 1 Playoff Preview, Odds & Predictions

Championship Favorites Start Run To Finals: Bucks vs. Heat Game 1 Playoff Preview, Odds & Predictions

The number one title contenders, the Milwaukee Bucks host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their first round Eastern Conference playoffs series. The game is expected to tip-off at 05:40 PM ET, Sunday, April 16th, 2023.

The Bucks are a hefty 9.5 point favorite, with no concerns that they will take game one in a comfortable fashion.


Miami secured their spot in the postseason with a 102-91 win over the Chicago Bulls in the play-in elimination game on Friday. They will face the No. 1 seed Milwaukee, who had the best record in the NBA regular season at 58-24 and have been resting their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo has missed the last three regular-season games, but he is set to return for Sunday’s matchup. With a core group that includes Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Bobby Portis, the Bucks will be looking to prove themselves as the best team in the NBA and repeat their title from two years ago.

The Heat finished the regular season with a 44-38 record, winning their last game to secure a place in the playoffs. Although they did not perform as well as last season, the Heat are determined to compete for a title.

Both teams split the season series with each other, with the home team winning all four matchups. The Heat won two games in January when Antetokounmpo was out due to knee soreness. However, Antetokounmpo played in both of the Bucks’ wins in February, although he left the second game due to a knee injury. This is the third playoff meeting between the Heat and the Bucks in the last four seasons, with Miami winning in five games in 2020 and Milwaukee sweeping them in 2021.

Both teams will be eager to make a strong start in the playoffs, so this is a matchup that promises to be exciting from start to finish.


The Bucks are the clear favorites coming into Game 1 with the advantage of being well-rested and at full strength. On the other hand, the Heat had to play two grueling play-in tournament games just to make it to the playoffs.

In their last matchup, the Bucks won convincingly, with Antetokounmpo only playing six minutes and Holiday stepping up to score 24 points. With their size and length advantage, the Bucks’ big men – Giannis, Lopez, and Portis – are likely to dominate the Heat’s small lineups, which have been featuring Jimmy Butler as the power forward. As the Bucks set the tone for the series, they are predicted to win and cover the spread in Game 1.

Betting on Milwaukee is the smart choice. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that this Bucks team will have their usual rhythm will so many games rested, nor that the Heat won’t come into this game with a heightened confidence after their win. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.

Spread: Bucks -9.5

Moneyline: Bucks -422, Heat +320

Pick: Bucks -9.5

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